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Olympic/Sport and Politics

Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
edited April 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
With scenes like this today in London, I began to think should politics and sport be kept seperate?

Gordon Brown and Tessa Jowell met and welcomed the torch, and the Chinese ambassador ran with the torch yet they all argue that sports and politics shouldn't mix. I get the feeling politicians use this excuse so that they don't have to standup to China.

Should the olympics be used as a means to protest against China? I feel as if it should as the rights of humans that are more important than the 'olympic spirit'. Why is sport elevated to a higher position than that of sport and art when it comes to diplomacy?

Another thought, sport is big business - and business is almost certainly part of politics

Anarchy Rules! on
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'm of the opinion that a boycott of the Games never actually accomplishes anything except pissing off the country that's being boycotted. The point is to help change whatever it is they're doing, but all it's going to do is make them hate you more for fucking up their time in the spotlight. When we boycotted Moscow 1980, we accomplished nothing beyond getting the Soviets to retaliate in Los Angeles 1984, and in the process destroyed the life's dreams of thousands of athletes who were only going to get the one shot, and then had it taken away from them by their own country.

    Which is another thing. Nobody ever asks the athletes what THEY think of all of it. Man, they just want to go and win a damn medal. They'll deal with hating the Russkies later, but for now they would like to perform a gymnastics routine in front of the entire world. They don't see what's so inflammatory about that.

    I think the most effective protest in Olympic history was in Berlin 1936. We didn't boycott. We went straight into the lion's den, in front of Hitler, who was using the Games basically to promote the Aryan race, and then here's this black guy, Jesse Owens, that beats him and takes all his medals. It didn't stop him by any means, but it helped get the message across, with irrefutable proof, that this 'master race' thing was a total crock of shit. On an equal playing field, the Master Race lost repeatedly to a Black Guy who's just a second-class citizen in his own country. That's how you do it. If the US, or anyone else, has a beef with China, here's a venue to prove, in one way or another, that you are demonstrably better than they are. Take advantage of it.

    I have a blog. In the near future, I will also have a Kickstarter to get my club-soccer book up and running. I will let you know when I will start demanding all your money.
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Should the olympics be used as a means to protest against China? I feel as if it should as the rights of humans that are more important than the 'olympic spirit'. Why is sport elevated to a higher position than that of sport and art when it comes to diplomacy?
    I agree with Olympic boycotts that were directed at the Soviet Union, and the banning of South Africa back in the day, but not the antagonism that has been directed at China.

    Yeah, their government is repressive but I can't help but feel that a good number of those attacking China are not doing out of any concern for human rights, but are the usual racists and Lou Dobbs-types.

    The developing world has been really excluded when it comes to the Olympics (Mexico in 1968 and South Korea in 1988 are pretty much the only inroads that have been made before now) . . . but I'm still conflicted of course - it's no excuse to say it's OK for a poorer country to be undemocratic and abuse human rights. China is just too big though - you could justifiably ignore Cuba or Burma . . . but not a culture and people with the influence China has.

  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think the answer is "yes and No".

    I think its a great moment to illuminate China's dodgy history.
    But while I'd support protests happening at olympic locations, I think that direct action towards the games is inappropriate (i.e. Trying to extinguish the flame etc).

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I go back and forth on this issue a lot. On the one hand, the Olympics for any country is generally seen as a big thing - China is treating it very much as a means by which to show how much they have progressed. On the other hand, it's turning out that they are falling back far too heavily on the staples of communism everywhere - sweep your problems under the rug.

    In the end I kind of think we have to let economics do the talking - the companies investing big in the Beijing olympics are the ones who will win or lose based on how they turn out, and ultimately the only thing which is really going to get China to move towards a more open society is the individual freedoms that economic development can bring them (and hopefully, some continued media exposure post-Games).

    Also, before anyone mentions the fact that the US has some pretty similar internal issues to China - yes I know. But I don't really see it as a zero sum game, and China is still very much developing - I want China to become a model of success, not USA 2 (olol that is australia m i rite?!)

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Eh, the Olympics pretty much are politics through sport. That was more or less the reason for their creation and resurgence. A way for countries to meet and compete in a more friendly atmosphere. That said I'm all for protesting/boycotting/whatever the Olympics people and countries want to do to demonstrate their dislike of the country. However their are probably better ways of doing this than assaulting the torch runner with a fire extinguisher. Entertaining though.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The Olympics are politics. They've pretty much always been politics all the way back to two bare naked Greeks slathered with oil and wrestling. But mostly now.

    Also, boycott the opening ceremony while letting the athletes compete gets the message across and lets people get shiny medals that they otherwise would have no chance.

    tea-1.jpg
  • IreneDAdlerIreneDAdler Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    As someone who grew up in China, I feel somewhat conflicted about the whole human rights issue in general, but that's not exactly OT. I must say that I feel somewhat insulted by these protests. I won't pretend that China doesn't have serious problems, but I don't feel that this is the right venue to address them. It's like if you went to someone's birthday party and told them what a dick they were. Also, I was listening to NPR this morning, and they were talking about how the protests in Paris caused the security people to extinguish the torch and lock it up on a bus. That really seems unproductive to me, firstly because it just taints the spirit of the Olympic games with ill-will, and secondly because it seems to me that, if you are really trying to promote the rights of humans as a collective, people shouldn't need to protect themselves from your actions.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    It's like if you went to someone's birthday party and told them what a dick they were.

    If that someone's actions results in hundreds of millions of orphans being put in orphanages with a 99% mortality rate, then I think it's just fine to go to their party and tell them they're a dick.

    priorities, ya know?

  • IreneDAdlerIreneDAdler Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    It's like if you went to someone's birthday party and told them what a dick they were.

    If that someone's actions results in hundreds of millions of orphans being put in orphanages with a 99% mortality rate, then I think it's just fine to go to their party and tell them they're a dick.

    priorities, ya know?

    Just because something is important doesn't mean that it's fair game in any situation. If it wasn't the Olympics and instead a debate in the U.N., then such a discussion would be appropriate. I guess the basic point of difference is that I don't see the Olympics as an endorsement of the host country's politics. And, taking a practical point of view as a few other posters have, what could possibly be accomplished by souring the Olympics up for everyone?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    It's like if you went to someone's birthday party and told them what a dick they were.

    If that someone's actions results in hundreds of millions of orphans being put in orphanages with a 99% mortality rate, then I think it's just fine to go to their party and tell them they're a dick.

    priorities, ya know?

    Just because something is important doesn't mean that it's fair game in any situation. If it wasn't the Olympics and instead a debate in the U.N., then such a discussion would be appropriate. I guess the basic point of difference is that I don't see the Olympics as an endorsement of the host country's politics. And, taking a practical point of view as a few other posters have, what could possibly be accomplished by souring the Olympics up for everyone?

    Considering the olympics are a point where a ton of media and attention is brough on the host country and the host city, this is the PERFECT opportunity to raise international awareness among the population of developed countries. Governments of the developed countries usually only move when the people really care/express what they want -- this is about as good a chance as anyone will ever get to bring light to China's lack of social aid, poor environmental initiatives, and human rights record.

    and if a few athletes have their shallow dream of a medal spoiled a bit, that really isn't a big deal in comparison to the social justice issues going on here and the prime opportunity this affords.

    edit: Espescially consider that most people don't give two craps about what is being debated in the UN, that treaties in the UN are often fairly weak and unchanging, and that the various governments of various developed nations really aren't going to have their approval ratings moving much by small debates in the UN.

  • ArcticXCArcticXC Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ArcticXC wrote: »
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

    I think you highly overestimate the general knowledge level of 'most people'.

    This is bringing waaaaaaay more attention to what is/has been going on in Tibet than I've ever seen before.

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think it's great because Beijing won the Olympics, beating out Toronto. Now the IOC can learn the error of their ways.

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    ArcticXC wrote: »
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

    I think you highly overestimate the general knowledge level of 'most people'.

    This is bringing waaaaaaay more attention to what is/has been going on in Tibet than I've ever seen before.

    Really? Chasing the guy running the Olympic torch with a bucket of water is bringin more attention to Tibet than the recent unrest by the monks and general populace of the plateau? If only he had a garden hose, we'd be halfway to ending the genocide in Darfur.

    tea-1.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think it's great because Beijing won the Olympics, beating out Toronto. Now the IOC can learn the error of their ways.

    The IOC doesn't give a shit about the host country's policies or popularity. However I am glad that Toronto got beat out because now Chicago has a good chance to win the 2016 games.

    tea-1.jpg
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    Considering the olympics are a point where a ton of media and attention is brough on the host country and the host city, this is the PERFECT opportunity to raise international awareness among the population of developed countries. Governments of the developed countries usually only move when the people really care/express what they want -- this is about as good a chance as anyone will ever get to bring light to China's lack of social aid, poor environmental initiatives, and human rights record.

    and if a few athletes have their shallow dream of a medal spoiled a bit, that really isn't a big deal in comparison to the social justice issues going on here and the prime opportunity this affords.

    edit: Espescially consider that most people don't give two craps about what is being debated in the UN, that treaties in the UN are often fairly weak and unchanging, and that the various governments of various developed nations really aren't going to have their approval ratings moving much by small debates in the UN.
    A, if the Olympics were being held somewhere like Dubai, where people may actually NOT be aware of the UAE's human-rights record, maybe, MAYBE you'd have a point. (Although there are a million other, more appropriate venues to do this in.) But really, how many people truly are unaware that China tends to act like a bunch of dicks?

    B, the absence of the United States from China's Games is extremely unlikely to make China go "Hey, maybe we should improve our human rights record and maybe this won't happen anymore." They are more likely to go "Oh, you want to ruin our moment in the spotlight? Okay, great. Hey, you know that huge debt you owe us? We're calling it in." Or, alternatively, they may go "This is YOUR fault, Tibet! You ruined our Games! BANZAI!" Neither of which would exactly be the desired effect.

    C, "if a few athletes have their shallow dream of a medal spoiled a bit, that really isn't a big deal" is completely, utterly wrong on every concievable level of that statement. For those athletes- and there are thousands upon thousands that try out, with about a thousand actually making it- this is their entire life's work. Their American Dream, if you will. And for the vast majority, they're only going to get the one shot. If they get boycotted out here, that's America stomping out the American Dreams of a thousand Americans in the name of a pissing match with China that ultimately is more likely than not to backfire. For those athletes, this IS a big deal. It's the BIGGEST of deals. They'd be basically told "Hey, we know you've spent your entire life devoting your blood, sweat and tears to this one moment, but we don't like the location you'd be going to that you had absolutely no control over, so we're going to take away your dreams four months before you can realize them. You're okay with that, right?" How would you feel if that happened to you?

    I have a blog. In the near future, I will also have a Kickstarter to get my club-soccer book up and running. I will let you know when I will start demanding all your money.
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Really? Chasing the guy running the Olympic torch with a bucket of water is bringin more attention to Tibet than the recent unrest by the monks and general populace of the plateau? If only he had a garden hose, we'd be halfway to ending the genocide in Darfur.
    I'm pretty sure more people pay attention to a guy with a bucket of water than the images of Tibetan monks being chased by the army.

    Unless you put the latter on Yackety Sax.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Last I checked Olympic events tend to bring money and prestige to an area.

    When that area is a prick, I support anything that hinders them obtaining money and prestige so long as nobody is physically hurt.

    I really don't care about the athletes, because being able to run in a circle really fast doesn't strike me as a terribly important profession.

    Also: Lol bread and circuses lol.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    ArcticXC wrote: »
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

    I think you highly overestimate the general knowledge level of 'most people'.

    This is bringing waaaaaaay more attention to what is/has been going on in Tibet than I've ever seen before.

    Really? Chasing the guy running the Olympic torch with a bucket of water is bringin more attention to Tibet than the recent unrest by the monks and general populace of the plateau? If only he had a garden hose, we'd be halfway to ending the genocide in Darfur.

    I've seen more news reports about that dousing of the torch then I ever saw of the unrest in tibet. Anecdotal evidence for the win?

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    I have a blog. In the near future, I will also have a Kickstarter to get my club-soccer book up and running. I will let you know when I will start demanding all your money.
  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited April 2008
    A boycott by the athletes would be dumb, but as I see it, things are progressing well. China gets the Olympics, but in return they get all this bad publicity that maybe hopefully someday causes them to clean up their act. Maybe. Possibly.

    Politicians could choose to boycott by not going, if they feel like escalating, although that might be too much.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.
    Okay, what the fuck?

    Olympic athletes give their all and everything to get to the Olympics and have a lousy job on the side so they can support their families/self, not the other way around.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    Considering the olympics are a point where a ton of media and attention is brough on the host country and the host city, this is the PERFECT opportunity to raise international awareness among the population of developed countries. Governments of the developed countries usually only move when the people really care/express what they want -- this is about as good a chance as anyone will ever get to bring light to China's lack of social aid, poor environmental initiatives, and human rights record.

    and if a few athletes have their shallow dream of a medal spoiled a bit, that really isn't a big deal in comparison to the social justice issues going on here and the prime opportunity this affords.

    edit: Espescially consider that most people don't give two craps about what is being debated in the UN, that treaties in the UN are often fairly weak and unchanging, and that the various governments of various developed nations really aren't going to have their approval ratings moving much by small debates in the UN.
    A, if the Olympics were being held somewhere like Dubai, where people may actually NOT be aware of the UAE's human-rights record, maybe, MAYBE you'd have a point. (Although there are a million other, more appropriate venues to do this in.) But really, how many people truly are unaware that China tends to act like a bunch of dicks?

    B, the absence of the United States from China's Games is extremely unlikely to make China go "Hey, maybe we should improve our human rights record and maybe this won't happen anymore." They are more likely to go "Oh, you want to ruin our moment in the spotlight? Okay, great. Hey, you know that huge debt you owe us? We're calling it in." Or, alternatively, they may go "This is YOUR fault, Tibet! You ruined our Games! BANZAI!" Neither of which would exactly be the desired effect.

    C, "if a few athletes have their shallow dream of a medal spoiled a bit, that really isn't a big deal" is completely, utterly wrong on every concievable level of that statement. For those athletes- and there are thousands upon thousands that try out, with about a thousand actually making it- this is their entire life's work. Their American Dream, if you will. And for the vast majority, they're only going to get the one shot. If they get boycotted out here, that's America stomping out the American Dreams of a thousand Americans in the name of a pissing match with China that ultimately is more likely than not to backfire. For those athletes, this IS a big deal. It's the BIGGEST of deals. They'd be basically told "Hey, we know you've spent your entire life devoting your blood, sweat and tears to this one moment, but we don't like the location you'd be going to that you had absolutely no control over, so we're going to take away your dreams four months before you can realize them. You're okay with that, right?" How would you feel if that happened to you?

    A -- people are aware that China has a human rights record, but their awareness is often pretty damn impersonal without much detail of the events. For example, Everybody knows children the world over are dieing, but I bet most don't care until they go and do some work in the developing world. On that level, how many people know of the 99% mortality rate of chinese orphanages? How many know that kids are often died up chairs for 14 hours a day in these orphanges, and then tied to their beds for sleep? How many know that orphanges have a 'dieing room', where sick children are sent and then locked up to die... among the bodies of already dead children?

    I'm talking about orphanges here because I happen to know a bit more about them than Tibet, but my point is that the details of China's human rights record on MANY levels is unknown, and the increased exposure brought about by these protests is like to make maybe just a few people do a google or a wikipedia or whatnot and look up some of this stuff and talk about it and maybe even make it an election issue.

    B -- The absence of the USA at the games is unlikely to make a big difference, but all the small things help. What I see as the bigger issue here is that the increased public awareness of China's atrocities is more likely to make China's conduct an election issue in the developed world, such that politicians will be more likely to take an active approach regarding this issue instead of just 'toeing the line'.

    C -- a few athletes having their dream spoiled really ISN'T a big deal if you have any idea of what is going on in Tibet. Hey, guess what, some people don't get to have their dreams of running around a circle really fast, and if spoiling that dream means some people don't die, I think that's a pretty good trade off.

    I weigh on one hand -- guy gets medal going around a circle -- and on the other hand, people not dieing. seems pretty easy to me.

    Calling this type of thing the BIGGEST of deals just shows to me that the priorities of the 'american dream' are ridiculously out of wack.
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I really don't care about the athletes, because being able to run in a circle really fast doesn't strike me as a terribly important profession.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    That's great, and I think human development, human rights, and orphange dieing rooms are worth waaaaaaay more than somebodies athletic dream.

    edit: Weren't there a bunch of athletes who came out in support of the protests and boycotts and whatnot? Those guys seem to have a certain set of priorities that differs from what you are suggesting. I'm not sure if these are mythical athletes i'm inventing in my head though. I was able to find an article about German athletes 'considering' it.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    ArcticXC wrote: »
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

    I think you highly overestimate the general knowledge level of 'most people'.

    This is bringing waaaaaaay more attention to what is/has been going on in Tibet than I've ever seen before.

    Really? Chasing the guy running the Olympic torch with a bucket of water is bringin more attention to Tibet than the recent unrest by the monks and general populace of the plateau? If only he had a garden hose, we'd be halfway to ending the genocide in Darfur.

    I've seen more news reports about that dousing of the torch then I ever saw of the unrest in tibet. Anecdotal evidence for the win?

    I couldn't not hear about Tibet at the onset of it for awhile. I only saw one tagline on google news about the assholes in Paris (but I repeat myself) and this thread. So our data is at a draw.

    tea-1.jpg
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    ArcticXC wrote: »
    I don't understand why protestors think that this will help the cause. The overall sense I'm getting is that they're doing this just to get attention for their cause, but it's not like people aren't aware of what is going on in Tibet. All that they're really doing is pissing off people and probably causing more harm to their cause than anything else.

    I think you highly overestimate the general knowledge level of 'most people'.

    This is bringing waaaaaaay more attention to what is/has been going on in Tibet than I've ever seen before.

    Really? Chasing the guy running the Olympic torch with a bucket of water is bringin more attention to Tibet than the recent unrest by the monks and general populace of the plateau? If only he had a garden hose, we'd be halfway to ending the genocide in Darfur.

    I've seen more news reports about that dousing of the torch then I ever saw of the unrest in tibet. Anecdotal evidence for the win?

    I couldn't not hear about Tibet at the onset of it for awhile. I only saw one tagline on google news about the assholes in Paris (but I repeat myself) and this thread. So our data is at a draw.


    Curses! rematch at high noon tomorrow.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    C -- a few athletes having their dream spoiled really ISN'T a big deal if you have any idea of what is going on in Tibet. Hey, guess what, some people don't get to have their dreams of running around a circle really fast, and if spoiling that dream means some people don't die, I think that's a pretty good trade off.

    I weigh on one hand -- guy gets medal going around a circle -- and on the other hand, people not dieing. seems pretty easy to me.

    Except that boycotting the games isn't going to save a single life. (Assuming there isn't a terrorist attack on the stadiums or a soccer team doesn't crash into the Andes on the way there) So your choices are 'spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia' or 'don't spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia.' So...yeah.

    tea-1.jpg
  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    That's great, and I think human development, human rights, and orphange dieing rooms are worth waaaaaaay more than somebodies athletic dream.

    edit: Weren't there a bunch of athletes who came out in support of the protests and boycotts and whatnot? Those guys seem to have a certain set of priorities that differs from what you are suggesting. I'm not sure if these are mythical athletes i'm inventing in my head though. I was able to find an article about German athletes 'considering' it.
    I think threat of boycott is enough to bring attention to the situation. As far as I can tell, previous Olympic boycotts have done shit for their causes, so would it be a waste?

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I guess it has something to do with Moniker living in the US, once the flame hits San Fran you'll see a lot more of it on the news.

    I mean, the London rioters were front page news here.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    C -- a few athletes having their dream spoiled really ISN'T a big deal if you have any idea of what is going on in Tibet. Hey, guess what, some people don't get to have their dreams of running around a circle really fast, and if spoiling that dream means some people don't die, I think that's a pretty good trade off.

    I weigh on one hand -- guy gets medal going around a circle -- and on the other hand, people not dieing. seems pretty easy to me.

    Except that boycotting the games isn't going to save a single life. (Assuming there isn't a terrorist attack on the stadiums or a soccer team doesn't crash into the Andes on the way there) So your choices are 'spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia' or don't spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia.' So...yeah.

    I suppose you're right. We should never try to raise awareness about China in the developed world when it comes at the expense of anyone ever, because it will never do anything.

    Every little bit helps, and I see the Olympic Games as the biggest and most publicised opportunity to raise awareness about this, and make it a political issue, pretty much well ever.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    So they're like those people in Hollywood who wait tables while waiting to star in the next Scary Movie.

    Yes. That makes me care more. :P

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    I guess it has something to do with Moniker living in the US, once the flame hits San Fran you'll see a lot more of it on the news.

    I mean, the London rioters were front page news here.

    Perhaps, but I'd also have seen some articles on Sarcozy and Merkel deciding to boycott the opening ceremony and floating the idea of having their respective athletes do the same. Possibly an interview with Condi over the issue on one of the big 3. And with the added benefit of not having 'hippies!' as an invisible byline.

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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    So they're like those people in Hollywood who wait tables while waiting to star in the next Scary Movie.

    Yes. That makes me care more. :P

    One thing I think about is the thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of people in East Asia and South Asia which don't have the opportunity to even attempt to fulfill a dream like mtvcdm is describing here.

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    B -- The absence of the USA at the games is unlikely to make a big difference, but all the small things help. What I see as the bigger issue here is that the increased public awareness of China's atrocities is more likely to make China's conduct an election issue in the developed world, such that politicians will be more likely to take an active approach regarding this issue instead of just 'toeing the line'.
    And here I think we come to the point of contention: you and I disagree on a root issue with a boycott. The risk/reward factor.

    *You seem to contend that a boycott is low risk/high reward- it's a little thing that eventually might get China to come around.
    *I contend that a boycott is high risk/low reward- what WE percieve the Games as is irrelevant. CHINA percieves the Games as really fucking huge, and for us to boycott them, I believe, is more likely to cause them to retaliate in a negative fashion than it is to cause them to change their ways in a positive fashion. And even if they did, history has shown that the ultimate effect of an Olympic protest, even if successful, is negligible, with the boycotter often ending up hurting themselves as much as if not more than the people they're protesting. You know that 'black power' salute on the medal stand in Mexico City 1968? That got those two athletes banned from the Olympics while at the same time doing jack shit to help the black cause.

    I have a blog. In the near future, I will also have a Kickstarter to get my club-soccer book up and running. I will let you know when I will start demanding all your money.
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    edit: Weren't there a bunch of athletes who came out in support of the protests and boycotts and whatnot? Those guys seem to have a certain set of priorities that differs from what you are suggesting. I'm not sure if these are mythical athletes i'm inventing in my head though. I was able to find an article about German athletes 'considering' it.
    If the athletes themselves wish to boycott, that's completely different. In the end, it is their dream at risk here, and I think they should make the call. If they wish to stay home, that is their decision. I just don't think that decision should be made for them.
    I suppose you're right. We should never try to raise awareness about China in the developed world when it comes at the expense of anyone ever, because it will never do anything.
    Nice strawman.

    I have a blog. In the near future, I will also have a Kickstarter to get my club-soccer book up and running. I will let you know when I will start demanding all your money.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    C -- a few athletes having their dream spoiled really ISN'T a big deal if you have any idea of what is going on in Tibet. Hey, guess what, some people don't get to have their dreams of running around a circle really fast, and if spoiling that dream means some people don't die, I think that's a pretty good trade off.

    I weigh on one hand -- guy gets medal going around a circle -- and on the other hand, people not dieing. seems pretty easy to me.

    Except that boycotting the games isn't going to save a single life. (Assuming there isn't a terrorist attack on the stadiums or a soccer team doesn't crash into the Andes on the way there) So your choices are 'spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia' or don't spoil a dream with a pissing contest while the poor suffer and die in the slums of South Asia.' So...yeah.

    I suppose you're right. We should never try to raise awareness about China in the developed world when it comes at the expense of anyone ever, because it will never do anything.

    Because that is precisely my argument to a T. Bravo, good sir for divining it so succinctly.
    Every little bit helps, and I see the Olympic Games as the biggest and most publicised opportunity to raise awareness about this, and make it a political issue, pretty much well ever.

    One of the worst travesties in sloganeering has been the line that there is no such thing as bad press. Let me assure you, there is. And people running around with fire extinguishers does not make bad press for China. Same with the 'code pink' idiots, greenpeace, PETA, ....fuck, should I get the list.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The whole point of this is that people do not believe that China should be treated with respect, because they view them as tyrants. It's like if the Olympics were held in Iraq prior to the US invasion. The general agreement is that China, while improving swiftly and vastly, is still pretty much run by pricks, and hanging out with the pricks and boosting their money is generally hypocritical.

    Whether or not this is an effective form of protest, it is certainly a kick in China's nads.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    It's NOT their profession. These athletes do not do this as a job, at least not in the United States. In the vast majority of events, they're amateur athletes. They work retail, they do claims adjustment, they're cops and teachers and all manner of real, actual jobs. They put the work into being Olympic-level athletes in ADDITION to that, which should tell you something about just how much this means to them and, while we're at it, their friends and family and community, all of which have to be giving some measure of support in order for the athlete to be able to do this.

    So they're like those people in Hollywood who wait tables while waiting to star in the next Scary Movie.

    Yes. That makes me care more. :P

    One thing I think about is the thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of people in East Asia and South Asia which don't have the opportunity to even attempt to fulfill a dream like mtvcdm is describing here.

    And it's all because the IOC decided to give the 29th olympiad to Beijing. Those maniacs! They finally went and did it! Damn them! Damn them all to hell!!!!!!

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The whole point of this is that people do not believe that China should be treated with respect, because they view them as tyrants. It's like if the Olympics were held in Iraq prior to the US invasion. The general agreement is that China, while improving swiftly and vastly, is still pretty much run by pricks, and hanging out with the pricks and boosting their money is generally hypocritical.

    Isolation does not improve a single thing for the denizens of the country in question. Shunning the country will not bring about political change or make them open and free, otherwise Cuba would be rife with mobster owned casinos again by now. You want to make a political statement, you make a political statement to that effect. You don't take your ball and go home pretending that that is the strongest move to make.

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  • shrykeshryke Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I have no problem with the protests. This is the perfect time to bring China's horrendous abuses into the spotlight.

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